Question upon question

The essential question is, precisely which pheromones are in the shower gel you use that advertises “With Pheromones!!!1!”.
Most people will want a shower gel with human pheromones, and not, say, moth pheromones.
Or tiger pheromones.
Generally.
This morning I woke up at 2am and couldn’t fall back to sleep for a long time. Hours.
At 4:20 I woke up to my wife opening the window and making a big deal about how much it had snowed at night.
I fed the cats. I got dressed. I gave my wife a cup of coffee and went outside and shoveled snow.
I went back inside, took a shower, ate breakfast at some point, had a cup of coffee, got re-dressed, shoveled more snow, went to work.
At the train station my long underwear relaxed and slid down and gathered around the low-water mark of my ass which is uncomfortable and I went into the restroom and hiked it back up and since then so far so good.
I dunno, did the cold weather paralyze the elastic? Am I getting a teeny old-man ass? Do I need a booty workout? The long johns are new, I got them for Xmas.
Question upon question.

Joke analysis

A grave robber and a cat napper walk into a bar.
The bartender, drying a shot glass with a small white dishtowel, looks over towards them.
“Hi mom, hi dad,” she says.
“What’ll it be?”

(Speaker shakes gadget (not a euphemism) and it finally starts working, projecting a PowerPoint slide, showing the text of the joke in Comic Sans onto the large screen on one side of the stage, while making a disconcerting buzzing sound and a small wisp of smoke rises from its insides, so small you are not sure whether you really saw it or not.)

Speaker: “Why is this joke funny?”
Speaker: “Because it is really funny if you know us. By ‘us’ I mean my wife and me.”
Audience member: “You mean ‘my wife and I’.”
Speaker: (Fires bolt from small crossbow at audience member, bolt glances off audience member’s backpack, tangles in beard of second audience member sitting behind them.)
Speaker: “No.” (And to person with crossbow bolt tangled in their beard.) “Sorry about that.”
Speaker: “See, we’re going to a ball later this month so we were taking a refresher course because I forgot how to dance. And one evening my wife was early so she window-shopped and noticed how expensive jewelry made of stags’ teeth is, which gave her the idea to exhume her grandmother, whose funeral she had organized and whom she had had interred with earrings intact because relatives had been arguing about who should take possession of them.”
Speaker: “Which idea matched the legal definition of grave robbery, according to our legally-trained daughter.”
Speaker: “And a week or so ago our tuxedo cat disappeared, pitching us into sort of a Schrödingerish state where we try to imagine she adopted one of our neighborhood’s 4 (at a minimum) cat ladies (the way she adopted us as a kitten), and is sleeping on a pillow and drinking cream, and try not to visualize her dead in a ditch. Lucky for us, the former is a very realistic scenario, because our other cats have for years come in from nights out, warm, fur brushed and smelling of woodsmoke.”
Speaker: “And so I tried not to think about her too much and thought I was adjusting well to her absence and being a grown-up about it until one night my wife and I were driving home from the train station or whatever and roughly in front of the doctor’s office in our village I said, ‘Stop! Stop the car!’ And she did, and I got out and crossed the street because I had seen a little black and white cat in the shadows. And it marched right up to me. I petted it, and it lay down and I picked it up and it meowed in a friendly way and I carried it over to the car and got in.”
Speaker: “‘Look who I found!’ I said. I was so happy, sitting there holding our cat. The relief I felt made me conscious of how I’d missed her. My wife pulled back out onto the street, but also took a closer look at the cat. ‘That’s not our cat, honeybunny,’ she said. ‘Oh,’ I said. ‘Are you sure?’ She pulled back over to the side of the road. ‘You have to let it go.’ So I let it go and it went about its business and we drove home hoping there had been no witnesses and that video evidence of my attempted crime wouldn’t be posted to social media.”
Speaker: “So that’s why the joke is funny.”
Speaker: “Thank you for attending my TED talk.”

How do you do things?

How?
How do you complete something you set out to do?
I never get anything done. Not on my own.
I mean: I have finished a couple first-draft novels on Nanowrimo in past years, but that required such an exhausting expenditure of nervous and emotional energy I nearly stopped writing afterwards.
Especially in the year when I did *two* novels for Nanowrimo.
But I lack that energy now, and I lack focus, and other things are going on, and so forth and I find myself sitting here, wondering, how do you guys do it, you guys who finish things. I am thinking of creative projects – how do you artists actually finish one painting and then start the next – how do you photographers get yourself outside taking pictures, or into the studio, or whatever – how do you musicians music? – but this would apply to non-creative projects as well – fixing one’s relationship, parenting, planning, household chores, shopping for a new suit, looking for a new job.
How do you do it?
How do you do it?
Only collaboration works for me. I am getting music done thanks to Horst. Evco got off the ground because it was a group project and because, at the end, Ute grabbed the controls from my paralyzed hands and landed safely.
But other stuff – writing, painting, photography – I sit on ideas until they calcify and inhabit my body like unborn twins.
I guess I have answered my own question, for me – I need a project manager, I need a collaborator.
How do you do it?

Who ya whiskin’?

What day was it.
It was Sunday, the Sunday following the Saturday where we got together in a restaurant across the street from the cemetary to discuss what needed to be done in the event of a (theoretical only) death in the family (never hurts to be prepared) and who wanted Viking funerals (Gamma, me) and who would settle for something more realistic and legal, who to contact, etc. followed by a trip to a doctor due to chest pains and a dislike of irony (dying after the death meeting) who ordered further tests in the hospital that found nothing leading to a diagnosis of probably carrying the refrigerator was a bad idea.
It was Sunday, and latish morning, and Alpha and I went for a walk in the woods, by ponds and the Danube and back to the car with wet feet and a feeling of accomplishment and also a feeling that we had earned lunch at the local wine tavern (Heuriger).
We were the first guests at the Heuriger except for some dudes playing cards and we took a table outside in the sun/shade. I tried to fit myself into the shade. Our food came (I had the large round sandwich, Alpha had the Wildplatte i.e. the wild plate, consisting of game animal products. It was all pretty good. She had a spritzer, I had Sturm, i.e. pre-wine, the cloudy, sweet kind.
We were enjoying sitting there etc when Alpha goes,
“Honey, there,” and gestures at my chest where, when I look down, I see 3 enormous shiny black and yellow wasp family dudes fighting on my shirt pocket.
And I go,
“Oh. Hornets fighting on me.”
Have you ever had hornets fighting on you? It’s fascinating.
I was enthralled, it’s really cool. Shiny ectoskeletons, shiny black yellow patterns, like some athletic device you might have had years ago until it went out of style and disappeared under the bed.
They were kind of distracted by each other trying to kill everyone so I calmly watched them for a while (few seconds) but then their proximity to my heart occurred to me, you know, ‘Man stung in heart by three fat hornets’ and I whisked them away with a napkin. Two flew away immediately, one fell to the bench I was sitting on and *then* flew away.
And that was that. They might be big and scary, but at least they didn’t stick around after I whisked them the first time, like wasps, who are always, “ya whisking me ya think ya gonna whisk me who ya whiskin there fella I’ll whisk ya I’ll show ya whiskin,” etc.
Then we went home.
Now it’s Tuesday all of a sudden.

Cultural criticism

Which onea you fuckers
peed on my phone
on the kitchen table last night?
When I picked it up this morning
it swished not swiped
It’s a miracle it still works
I don’t wanna know who it was
Just don’t let it happen again
or I’ll i don’t know what.
not that I’ll forget so quick,
whenever I pick it up to
check likes on Instagram
it smells like betrayal

Life hack: cologne

After showering and before you put your glasses on, when you apply your cologne and are trying to get the bottle pointed in the right direction, you can give the bottle a test spray to see which way to point it or you can hold it real close to your face to try to see where the hole is it squirts out of, just not both at the same time.

In heaven the air is full of bees

So this morning before work I walked down to the store and got some stuff for lunch and on my way back to the office some crows stopped and visited and I gave them some peanuts and went back to the office and ate the stuff I had bought for lunch and worked and then at lunchtime I went to the park and strolled around and found a shady spot under some trees and there was a large box-like wooden construction there that held four beehives, two of them populated and busily at work and I sat and watched the bees, which I love, they’re my favorite insect, always have been, I was fascinated by the bees that lived in my uncle’s wall and I visited him often to listen to them when I was a little boy, but I really fell in love with bees earlier this summer when the lavender by the gate was in full bloom and full of bees and when I came home and opened the gate a cloud of lavender-scented bees enveloped me and brushed my face without stinging me and that’s when I fell in love with bees. Then four crows, crows that didn’t know me yet, as I had not yet fed crows in the park, showed up and I threw them a peanut and then another and after three or four peanuts one had the cojones to try one and then three were competing for the peanuts I threw them while a fourth one watched from further off and I threw them peanuts and watched the bees until I ran out of peanuts then I walked back to the office. On the way a crow, one from before, stopped by and watched me for a while and I watched him and checked all my pockets but I was really out of peanuts so I apologized and walked back to my desk.
Some days you just need bees and crows.